Demand for robots in China has quadrupled in the last four years, making it home to nearly a quarter of the world's industrial robots, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). And by 2018, the IFR estimates that more than one-third of the world's industrial robots will be installed in China.
"I think the robot industry in China is at its beginning stage," says Yu Kai, CEO of Beijing-based Horizon Robotics Inc. "More and more robots in the factory is not a trend that can be reversed."
China's factories face an uncertain future as the country's economic growth slows and its manufacturing sector begins to give way too service industries. For many factory owners, robots are essential to their bottom-line.